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New doubt cast on Ireland's hottest temperature

  • 19-07-2022 5:20pm
    Registered Users Posts: 959 ✭✭✭ compsys

    The below is interesting as the assumption from some on here was that the 33.3 was totally representative of conditions in Ireland and the UK at the time.

    "The reanalysis also compared the temperature recorded in Kilkenny to six other weather stations, including in Birr, Phoenix Park, Roches Point, and Sheffield in the UK.

    These stations have nearly complete records through to today, many of which have been digitised, according to the study.

    The maximum surface temperatures of the selected weather stations for June 1887. The red point marker shows the maximum surface temperature recorded at Kilkenny on 26 June 1887.

    “We can look at the modern day differences between those and when we look at the date in 1887, the Kilkenny Castle difference is either entirely outside the distribution of expected daily occurrences or right in the extreme of that distribution,” Thorne said.



  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 45,234 CMod ✭✭✭✭ magicbastarder

    so the temp recorded was 4C higher than the next highest temp from the country that day? evelyn cusack seems to be having none of the traitor talk though.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,365 ✭✭✭ Hooter23

    The record temperatures in the UK today are also false...the cities are so big these days and there are so much concrete and tarmac it raises the temperatures by many degrees that what they actually would normally be without all of this...even in winter time you can see this mentioned on forecasts where temperatures stay above freezing in cities while the surrounding countryside is frozen solid because the temperature difference it causes are so big

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  • Registered Users Posts: 959 ✭✭✭ compsys

    Yes - it does appear that they were perhaps a bit selective with the stations they chose.

    However, perhaps it's because these stations have the longest and most reliable set of records? I'm not sure.

    "These stations have nearly complete records through to today, many of which have been digitised, according to the study."

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,239 ✭✭✭ EchoIndia

    To be specific, I expect it was at RAF Coningsby, which is a military airfield.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,221 ✭✭✭ Billcarson

    Wonder if yesterday's set up happened at the end of June (as the record was at the end of june) with that bit of extra solar heating could it have broken the record? Or the fact that a few weeks earlier in the season would have meant perhaps a slightly cooler airmass and would cancel out the slightly higher sun?

    Just a thought.

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,504 ✭✭✭✭ Danzy

    You'd have a greater difference than that in County Cork alone.

  • Registered Users Posts: 33,639 ✭✭✭✭ RobertKK

    Kilkenny is not typical for Ireland, it is a county with hills around its edges that go over 1000ft/300m and Kilkenny City in the centre is around 200ft/60m above sea level.

    I have zero doubt that this helped Kilkenny get the record, a record that I believe will be broken this decade, Ireland is getting over 30C more commonly that it use to.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,913 ✭✭✭ Danno

    It is quite unique in terms of it's geography.

    Image from

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,913 ✭✭✭ Danno

    Interesting thought @Billcarson

    Seas are cooler in June than July though and unless we're drawing our airflow from the southeast in over southern Wales, southern England and northern France then maritime cooling would mix in more I would think.

    Kilkennyweather give a reasonable account of the 1887 event here: 1887 The Hottest Day (

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,343 ✭✭✭ PokeHerKing

    What a pointless, biased study. Waste of money and time. If this is what climate scientists spend their time doing they'd be better off slashing tires or blocking roads, it would be more productive at least.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,658 ✭✭✭ Rougies

    So many variables involved in that thought. It reminds me of people saying "if only this was January we'd be buried in snow" when we get marginal situations in March. Let's go with what we know, ie. just another 20 minutes of clear skies at the Phoenix Park would have broken the record. Casement could have broken the record too with clearer skies. It all came down to the random nature of cloud cover.

  • Registered Users Posts: 776 ✭✭✭ DrZeuss

    The way I read it was that 33.3 may in fact have been on the low side in 1887 (if they are calling it into question) 😁 pigeons

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,670 ✭✭✭✭ M.T. Cranium

    If the castle was a large structure (as I assume it was or is) and the instrument was near a north-facing wall, those factors would not be big problems for the veracity of the readings there, a large north-facing stone wall would be in shade most of the day and would not be radiating much heat. Different story if it were a south or west facing wall. In any case I have seen enough climate data to know that variations within 1 C deg are fairly standard over very short distances and they don't have enormous significance, what does have more significance is how frequently record or near-record temperatures are set.

    I did the following analysis on net-weather in support of their contest thread. The CET has been keeping daily maximum records since 1878, and this was the top forty of them going into Tuesday 19th (the new record was set on Monday 18th as shown). This list will be amended no doubt when Tuesday 19th comes in around 37-38 C. The data are an average of three locations near Luton, Oxford and Blackburn. Some minor adjustments have been made over time to homogenize the data series. You'll notice the ongoing increase in frequency of these top forty hot days in the period of record.

    CET Top Forty Maximum Temperatures (before Tues 19th July 2022 added to list)

    1. 34.8 __ 18 July 2022 

     2. 34.2 __ 25 July 2019

     3. 33.4 ___ 3 Aug 1990

     4. 33.2 __ 31 July 2020

     5. 33.1 ___ 3 July 1976

     6. 33.0 __ 19 July 2006

    t7 32.8 ___ 2 Aug 1990

    t7 32.8 ___ 9 Aug 2003

    t7 32.8 ___ 1 July 2015

    10. 32.0 __ 12 Aug 2020

    t11 31.9 ___ 4 Aug 1975

    t11 31.9 ___ 1 Aug 1995

    13. 31.7 ___ 2 July 1976

    14. 31.6 ___ 6 July 1976

    t15 31.5 __ 29 July 1948

    t15 31.5 ___ 2 Aug 1995

    t17 31.3 ___ 4 and 5 July 1976

    19. 31.2 __ 31 Aug 1906

    t20 31.1 ___ 1 Sep 1906

    t20 31.1 ___ 7 and 8 Aug 1975

    23. 31.0 __ 12 July 1923 

    t24 30.9 ___ 9 Aug 1911

    t24 30.9 __ 31 July 1943

    t24 30.9 __ 13 July 2003

    t24 30.9 __ 18 July 2006

    t24 30.9 __ 19 July 2016

    t29 30.8 __ 28 July 1948

    t29 30.8 __ 26 July 2018

    31. 30.7 __ 11 Aug 2020

    32. 30.6 __ 13 July 1923

    t33 30.5 __ 13 Aug 1911

    t33 30.5 __ 27 Aug 1930

    t33 30.5 __ 30 July 1948

    t33 30.5 __ 10 Aug 1997

    t37 30.4 1 July 1976, 31 July 1995, 3 Aug 1995 and 29 June 2019


  • Registered Users Posts: 18,070 ✭✭✭✭ fryup

    how accurate were temperature recordings back in those day?? how accurate were thermometers for instance?

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,913 ✭✭✭ Danno

    That is a very good question @fryup - the above image quoted from @StratoQ's site explains the following:

    I have found a copy of the Report of the Meteorological Council 1890 which mentions the inspection that took place at Kilkenny Castle in August 1889 (Two years after the record breaking temperature was recorded). The report states that the instruments were all in good order. The maximum thermometer was checked against a known good standard thermometer and the correction to be applied was found to be 0.0° (i.e. the thermometer required no correction and was reporting the true value). 

    So, even two years after the record was taken, the same thermometer was checking out as being "spot on" and recording accurately.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,913 ✭✭✭ Danno

    Yes - it does appear that they were perhaps a bit selective with the stations they chose.

    It doesn't just appear so, they were without much doubt very selective in what they chose. Adding Sheffield in there was bizarre to say the least. I went through the flies they left on git hub, they included Galways 30.0c in their comparisons there but it never appeared in the chart on the final report - the one where they put a little red box to imply Kilkenny was way out of kilter.

    The poor quality of this even shows Kilkenny incorrectly labeled on the plot chart, how can Kilkenny show a max of 29.2c for June 26th 1887 and also show 33.3c for June 26th 1887 marked by a red box? A very basic error to make on a paper entitled Reassessing Ireland’s Hottest Temperature Record, which is currently being peer reviewed and was resubmitted yesterday morning for what he hopes is the final revision. 

    Sryanbruen above spent a couple of hours pulling data from and recreated a chart that is ten fold more professional than what this paper purports to show.

    However, perhaps it's because these stations have the longest and most reliable set of records? I'm not sure.

    If these stations have a most reliable set of records, why are they questioning the 33.3c, ignoring the fact that the thermometer used to record 33.3c was checked and found to be working! Are they investigating Markree's -19.1c recorded just six years earlier too? Or is it's validity overlooked just because it's a cold record?

    "These stations have nearly complete records through to today, many of which have been digitised, according to the study."

    Which is a good thing if the digitisation process is free from alterations such as homogenisation - i.e. just the raw data please.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,365 ✭✭✭ Hooter23

    It does not matter...there are big cities in every direction you turn over in england...the huge amount of extra heat from all these cities drifts for many miles especially in summer sunshine so even the surrounding countryside will be affected by the extra heat...more than likely all that extra heat converged on the area where they got a so called record...

  • Registered Users Posts: 22,371 ✭✭✭✭

    Oh i dunno, I've always thought of Kilkenny as Ireland's Sonoran Desert meself 😎

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,964 ✭✭✭ John.Icy

    What exactly is the context of 'but there is no prospect of this station becoming one of the second order'?

    Assuming the second order were the leading/official stations or something (may be wrong, second order sounds like a cult), then Mr. Scott found something odd with the Kilkenny station that it would never be upgraded, no?

    I find it mad that there is nothing to be found on the stations exactly location. Surely somewhere, in some old record or paperwork, it's said exactly where it is. Would be a fun side project to try find it out once and for all.